Cheslyn Hay History Society Newsletter – 5th April 2020

As you are aware, we are unable at the moment, to offer our normal events on Tuesdays at the Salem, or our Chat N Char and Speakers Evenings, we would like to take this opportunity to apologize to our members who have been affected by this exceptional situation.

Annual Membership of £5.00 (per household) for the coming year 2020/21 is now due from 1 April 2020.
Following the Covid-19 Lockdown and the recent Government Advice on social distancing, it will not be possible to collect your renewals personally or at any of our usual meetings, in the normal way.
Our Membership Secretary (Rob Allan) managed to see some of you at the last Chat N Char, before the lockdown arrived. However, if he did not collect your membership renewal, please consider one of the alternative methods of renewing.

Please send a cheque (made out to CH&DLHS) or cash to Rob at:

Membership Secretary CH&DLHS,
C/O – 9 Coltsfoot View,
Cheslyn Hay,

If you have already paid Rob or you normally pay via PayPal – you do not need to do anything – as your membership will renew automatically.We greatly appreciate your patience and understanding and your continued support of your Society and look forward to returning to normal operations as soon as this crisis is over

What Happened This Week 50/100 years ago…by Mike Belcher

Cannock Advertiser  2nd April 1970  Members of Cheslyn Hay Salem Coffee Box watched a demonstration of flower arranging by Mrs. D. Wilkes.
2nd April 1970  Cheslyn Hay’s new telephone exchange in Darges Lane which is to replace the existing one and two existing ones is to be opened today.

Cannock Chase Courier  3rd April 1920  The body of Arnold Parbrook (22) a married man living at Wolverhampton Street, Walsall and a Cheslyn Hay man, was found at the bottom of the Great Wyrley Colliery shaft.  His parents are well-known and reside at Station Street.
3rd April 1920  Mr. W. Adamson, the Prospective Labour Candidate for the Cannock Division visited Cheslyn Hay on Monday.
3rd April 1920  Mr. T. Weetman occupied the chair at the Annual Parish Meeting on Wednesday evening.  Mr. A. E. Hawkins presented the usual accounts and these were passed as satisfactory.
Vikings by Peter Cadman…. continued

Although Vikings are often depicted wearing helmets with horns, this is a modern perception and without doubt inaccurate.
The Viking helmet was usually constructed from a simple bowl shape with a nose guard attached by rivets. All helmets were dome shaped, and some in addition to the nose guard, had an iron spectacle shape added for additional protection for the face. Occasionally, a helmet had a curtain of chain mail hanging from the back to protect the neck. The helmet weighed anything from 2kg (4.4lbs) upwards and was kept in place by a sturdy chin strap. A Viking warrior highly valued the helmet and it was often passed down from generation to generation until it became so old and the metal so thin that it was no longer used.
Viking Sagas report that helmets were marked so the wearers could be identified in battle to distinguish which side they were fighting for. These markings were most often made by applying a chalky substance to the metal. It should be noted that the wearing of a helmet presented somewhat of a challenge to a Viking warrior. The aim was to cast the structure asunder and continue with their skull- shattering activities!
The majority of Viking helmets consisted of several pieces of iron riveted together, the ‘spagenhelm’ style of helmet. Historians have suggested that many Viking blacksmiths were unable to produce a single piece of metal large enough to create a helmet. The iron that the smiths used was known as ‘bog iron’.
Obviously something was needed to lift the helmet up from the skull, as a powerful blow to the head gear would be transmitted directly to the head of the wearer and little protection would be afforded. It is likely that some sort of strong leather suspension system was used and an absorbent material, such as sheepskin was added.
This would ensure the force of the blow to the wearer was diminished and that sweat and blood was absorbed.
As already suggested Viking helmets were considered a prized possession and therefore expensive to produce. The Viking warrior didn’t always own a helmet and those who did and wore them in battle, were often of some stature in the Viking social structure.
Finally, few Viking-age helmets have survived, most of them are fragmented. The ‘Gjermundbu’ helmet
being the only more-or-less complete Viking helmet in existence. However, ritual helmets with horns and inscriptions have been discovered. These helmets bear no scars or marks indicative of the fact they were never worn in battle or any form of conflict. Historians recently put forward the theory that they were used in ceremonial activity, with the detail inscribed on them relating to ‘wolf skins’. But that’s another story!

Cheslyn Hay Local History Society Newsletter – 29th March 2020

What Happened This Week 50/100 years ago…by Mike Belcher

Cannock Advertiser  Hawkins Sports 3, TWH Athletic 0.  Full report

25th March 1970   Deaconess Samson was the guest speaker at last week’s meeting of the Cheslyn Hay Salem Wesley Guild.

25th March 1970  Councillors Seek Action on Flooding in Coppice Lane.

Cannock Chase Courier   27th March 1920   Issue missing.

Newspapers researched by Dave Washington

Birmingham Daily Post  26th March 1970   Telephone subscribers in the Cheslyn Hay District, Near Wallsall, will receive an unexpected call from the operator next week to make sure the areas new Exchange is working properly.   Full story.

Vikings by Peter Cadman
Peter is going to write a series on “The Vikings” for the newsletter for us all to enjoy while we are on Lockdown.

The first recorded Viking attacks occurred along the coast of Northern Europe and Britain in 789 AD. Vikings brutally attack the Monastery of Lindisfarne, an island off the north-east coast of England in 793 AD. They began to attack Scotland in 795 AD. The settlement of the Scottish islands of Orkney and Shetland with the discovery of the Faroe Islands took place in 800 AD. They journey to Ireland and the city of Dublin is founded in 840 AD. Raids on Spain take place in 844 AD. The cities of Paris, France and Hamburg, Germany, are sacked in about 845 AD. In 860 AD a Viking, maybe Rurik the Rus, becomes the ruler of the Russian area of Novogorod. Much of England is invaded and conquered by Vikings from Denmark during the years 865 – 74 AD. A Viking named Harald Finehair becomes (arguably) the first king of Norway in 872 AD. The island of Iceland is settled by Vikings in 874 AD. In England King Alfred agrees a boundary between his kingdom and lands in the north and east of the country, ruled by Vikings. It was known as “Danelaw”. Rollo a Viking leader made inroads into France and occupied territory and ruled over it, Normandy. The year was around 911 AD. In 954 AD the city of York in England, is ruled over by Eric Bloodaxe. He loses his life at the Battle of Stainmore during the same year. By 958 AD Christianity begins to spread across Scandinavia. The king of Denmark, Harald Bluetooth converts to the religion during 958 AD. Greenland is discovered and settled by the Vikings in 982 AD. Eric the Red is believed to have first landed in Greenland. By the year 1000 AD Christianity has spread to Iceland. In the year 1002 AD it is believed the Viking Lief Erikson explored the coast of North America. The Norwegian ruler by 1014 AD is Olaf Haraldsson. A Danish Chieftain known as Cnut becomes king of England in 1016 AD and later becomes king of Norway. (Probably by 1030 AD.) By 1042 AD England is free from Danish rule and two years later in 1046 AD Harald Hardrada becomes king of Norway. Hardrada, perhaps the last Viking King of note, invades England in 1066 AD. His army is defeated at the Battle of Stamford Bridge and Hardrada is killed. However, Duke William of Normandy invades England and defeats the Saxon army at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 AD. The Viking age has drawn to a close.

Cheslyn Hay Local History Society Newsletter – 22nd March 2020

What Happened This Week 50/100 years ago…by Mike Belcher

Cannock Advertiser   19th March 1970  Story of Mr. J. Stevenson disturbing burglars breaking into his chemist’s shop after drugs.
19th March 1970  In Memorium
Blurton (Edith) – Treasured memories of a dear wife and mom, died March 23 1965 from husband George, daughter Beryl and grandson Michael.
19th March 1970  Details of the success of the Cheslyn Hay Coffee Box with details of the events and committee members and helpers.

19th March 1970  Bert Walker of 12, Wesley Avenue, Cheslyn Hay, recalling his lifetime of his bowling successes from 1928 to 1966.

Cannock Courier
No reports for Cheslyn Hay this week in 1920

Newspapers researched by Dave Washington

Staffordshire Advertiser   20th March 1920  Excerpt from Cannock Rural Council Meeting Report  with a complaint from Mr E J Pearson and a report from Mr J T H Hall (Sanitary Inspector) of overcrowding at Landywood where in a house of three bedrooms, two of which were small, 16 people were living with husband and wife and 8 children and man and wife and 4 children with 2 more children expected.  

General News
Suspension of services due to Coronavirus including  Staffordshire Record Office, the William Salt Library and the Lichfield History Access Point will all close from 00.01 on Monday 23 March 2020 and the service will be suspended until further notice.
All of the City of Wolverhampton Council’s cultural venues including The Archives  will close from Friday 20th March until further notice.

All of our own scheduled events at the Cheslyn Hay & District Local Histroy Society for the coming months have been postponed until further notice and we will look at re-scheduling as many of these as possible for a later date. If you have purchased a ticket for any of our forthcoming events you will be refunded

Cheslyn Hay Local History Society Newsletter – 15th March 2020

No Events This Week

Our Salem Base
Our Salem Base is open from  9am – 2pm every Tuesday

What Happened This Week 50/100 years ago…by Mike Belcher

Cannock Advertiser  12th March 1970
The funeral service of Mr. William Stephen Whitehouse of 6, Littlewood Road, Cheslyn Hay, took place at Salem Methodist Church, Cheslyn Hay, last Friday. 

12th March 1970  Bus services in the Great Wyrley, Cheslyn Hay areas are to be improved to cater for the new estates with full details.

12th March 1970  A Labourer had been stealing metal from his employer magistrates at Cannock heard on Monday. The labourer Dereck William Mathews, of 68, Mitre Road, Cheslyn Hay, pleaded guilty.  Full story. 

 Cannock Chase Courier  13th March 1920  Richard John Row, Rosemary Road, Cheslyn Hay, was summoned for not sending his children to school.  Mr. Cliff, attendance officer, said this is one of the worst families at Cheslyn Hay, and gave full details.

13th March 1920  At the licensing sessions held at Penkridge, on Monday February 9th, a deputation was received from the Cheslyn Hay Temperance Society, representing various denominations and societies, who presented a petition to the effect that Cheslyn Hay was over supplied with drinking facilities to the detriment of the village.  Full story and outcomes of the case concerning the Rose and Crown and the Hatherton Arms.

Bruce in Bristol has emailed us this week re his Walker and Moore families from the States who have traced their ancestors back to the Salem in 1813.  Bruce states “Maria Moore was baptized in the New Connexion in 1813. She married a John Walker 3rd Feb 1834 at St Lukes Cannock and I have the book The BygoneDays of Cheslyn Hay which show John Walker as the occupier of some 30 acres in Tranters Croft 1849.  We can see they had 5 children which look to been baptised  at St Lukes.  We have been unable to find a death of John, and we know that Maria and her 4 sons moved to Broomhill in the late 1870’s.  We are keen to trace John’s parents and what happened to him”.

If anyone can help please email 

and I will pass your replies on to Bruce



We regret to announce that with immediate effect, all of Cheslyn Hay & District Local History Society’s events, including our normal Tuesday meetings, Chat N Char and Speaker’s Evenings are cancelled until further notice.

There will be a full refund of any tickets already paid for, including Lesley Smith’s visit, and the trip to Ludlow. We will still be happy to undertake research and general enquiries via telephone or email.

 Malcolm Podmore – 07794 418295




Cheslyn Hay Local History Society Newsletter 8th March 2020

The theme for Roger’s Chat n Char this Thursday 12th March  is “Drinking Smoke” starting at 10am in the Salem as usual.

Rogers Trip 14th May  SOLD OUT
This year we are visiting  Stokesay Castle and Ludlow on Thursday 14th May 2020 leaving from  Salem, High Street, Cheslyn Hay at 9am.
The cost of trip will be £20.00 including entrance to Stokesay Castle.

Our Salem Base
Our Salem Base is open from  9am – 2pm every Tuesday

What Happened This Week 50/100 years ago…by Mike Belcher

Cannock Advertiser  5th March 1970  Pupils from Great Wyrley and Cheslyn Hay Primary Schools will join forces this Easter, when they go for a week’s holiday on the Isle of Wight. Full story.
5th March 1970  Cannock Dog Show with Miss B Smith, of The Bungalow, Old Landywood Lane, Cheslyn Hay, carrying off many awards.  Full story.

5th March 1970  Dereck Arthur Stanton of Standek Farm, Wolverhampton Road, Cheslyn Hay, pleads guilty in court case.  
Cannock Chase Courier  6th March 1920  William Ansell, Cheslyn Hay, was summoned for assaulting Alfred Barnes.  Full story with witnesses and their statements and a guilty verdict.

6th March 1920 Marriage of Devereux – Deakin at the Congregational Church, Stafford, Lieutenant Clifford Devereux, of Cheslyn Hay, to Fanny Deakin.

6th March 1920  Canadian Wedding of Hosegood – Andrew  at St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Regina, Canada.  Miss Lucy Andrew, and Mr. Rowland Hosegood M.C. an ex-officer of the 28th Battalion and son of Dr. and Mrs. Hosegood of Cheslyn Hay.
6th March 1920  Chat from Cheslyn Hay
A committee was formed at the Working Men’s Club, consisting of members of the Victoria Brass Band, Members of the club and others, to organise a scheme to raise funds for the Wolverhampton Women’s Hospital with details of the collections.
Early on Saturday morning a prominent citizen in the name of Mrs. T. Pearson, of Station Street, passed away. Details of his life and funeral.

6th March 1920  Cheslyn Hay woman frightened of her husband.  Lily Parkes, of Cheslyn Hay, made an application for a separation order against her husband, Albert Jaz Parkes, of Saredon Road, Cheslyn Hay, on account of his ill-treatment.

Funeral Arrangements of two of our former Members are as follows:
Joan Spooner – Tuesday 10th March 1.45pm at St Marks followed by cremation  3pm at Crematorium
Julian Allen  – Thursday 12th March  11.15am at Bushbury Crematorium (West Chapel)